Realtek 8821AE Wireless not recognized by installer



I have a Lenovo laptop with a built-in WiFi card, the card appears to be (in full) “Realtek 8821AE Wireless LAN 802.11ac PCI-E NIC”

The installer shows that it did not recognise the card, apparently.

This being the first time installing any type of OS other than Windows (in a desktop environment), this is very confusing.

Are there any steps to get it working pre/post-install or is it simply impossible?


was told that during the initial install, the WiFi was a crap shoot. Once the first reboot happens, it should be detected.

maybe someone who knows more might pipe in


As root I normally just do:

cd /boot/kernel
kldload if*
sysctl -b net.wlan.devices

If something was picked up by this sysctl command it means a particular module needs to be loaded that is not for the specific card that devd is not autoloading. Otherwise it is normally no go for FreeBSD.


So, it means that if that sysctl command does not show anything, then this wireless card is not supported?


web searching, I’m seeing that users are needing to use “ndis” to get the card working

web search “freebsd 12 Realtek 8821AE”


I’m gonna try the “ndis” option. Hoping it works with Windows 10 drivers…